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NCIT leading to EU IST excellency

Final Report Summary - EU-NCIT (NCIT leading to EU IST excellency)

The document management system is the EU-NCIT WebDAV. The purpose of this system is to assure secure and ease file sharing between EU-NCIT members. The work management system is implemented with the PHProjekt application, which was installed in order to help users keep a record of the time spent working in the EU-NCIT project. At the end of each month, a full project activity report was presented. All the components of the management information system underwent significant and continuous changes for improving their functionalities and results. Experience has proven that simple and efficient systems are much easier to work with, than complicated systems requiring considerable longer learning periods. Documents and human resource management were one of the most vital aspects of the project, both depending on a reliable infrastructure.

A knowledge base with the potential Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) collaboration domains was developed using ontology engineering and text mining techniques. An intelligent queering interface that allows a user-friendly access was also developed. To optimally achieve collaboration of NCIT with other universities and research centres, and to increase the chances of being part in successful proposals, relevant Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) research projects were analysed and the requirements for good proposals were synthesised in associated deliverables. With this information, the on-line knowledge-based was permanently updated during the three years with potential FP6 / FP7 collaboration domains, calls for proposals, existing projects and associated specialists and institutions in domains relevant to EU-NCIT priority areas. The intelligent queering interface that allows a user-friendly access to the supporting ontology was also continuously enhanced.

A study of the existing infrastructure and the required upgrades to match the EU technologies were performed. Accordingly, the equipment acquisitions meant to increase the capabilities of the NCIT were undertaken. We started from an analysis of the needs related to the infrastructure and software package resources in the project management internal information system, network communication, collaborative remote work (videoconference equipments and software), and finally the information management support in advancement of the research fields of interest to the NCIT. Following the equipment acquisition, in order to strengthen the grid testbed work capacity, the actual cluster infrastructure has thus been extended. The new computing infrastructure is now grouped in four different functional units interconnected through a high-speed network. These units are represented by an information management system, a training laboratory, an application development and integration laboratory, and a production cluster where prospective applications will be executed.

The participation of EU-NCIT members to high quality scientific events, such as conferences and scientific workshops, offered them the opportunity to learn more about other research projects, to learn more about existing research in the priority areas of the project, to meet specialists from other countries, to plan future activities with these specialists, and also to gather management skills and to validate their own research approach. All these events were chosen with the goal of preparing the NCIT members for identifying the most important issues that could be subjects for future project proposals under EU financing programs, and for initiating contacts with potential partners in the idea of jointly proposing successful projects. The research papers presented by the project team members in the framework of these events were highly appreciated by the participants, showing the professional maturity achieved, and fostering new collaboration opportunities in research. All these experiences were documented and analysed, consequently leading to the development of corresponding public and internal reports.

One of the most important objectives of the project is to acquire expertise for making future FP7 project proposals. To achieve this goal, it was essential to study a number of successful projects. After analysing the objectives, the management strategy and the evolution of each project, a set of guidelines for proposal preparation were synthesised. These guidelines were associated with those provided in FP6 and FP7 documents. We begun our study with the EGEE project, one of the most successful projects funded by the EU. We considered EGEE an important successful project mainly because of the achieved results, their potential impact for the European academic and research community and their relevance for building the European Research Area (ERA), as well as the resources involved, represented by a Europe-wide infrastructure and project team.

One of the most important achievements of the project team members during the project's period was the participation of EU-NCIT in eight research project proposals submitted to the FP7 calls. The preparation of these proposals was achieved during scientific visits and were made possible by the knowledge and know how acquired during these three years of the project and the numerous contacts with foreign potential partners established during the same period.

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